I’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with InSTEDD’s Robert Kirkpatrick on several occasions this year and always come away from our conversations having learned something new. Robert has recently been presenting InSTEDD’s new Mesh4X project. I confessed to him that I wasn’t entirely sure I fully grasped all the technical language he used to describe Mesh4X (which may serve as one answer to Paul Curion’s recent questions on The Innovation Fallacy).
Shortly after our recent CrisisMappers Meeting in Orlando, Robert kindly took the time to rework his description of Mesh4X for non techies. What follows is this description in Robert’s own words: “Having now heard the message a second time, I’m trying to clarify my description of Mesh4x for a lay audience. This version is more of a ‘product brochure’ in style, but I hope you find it useful in filling in any gaps.”
Problem: cross-organizational data sharing shouldn’t be this hard.
- Imagine if that spreadsheet on your desktop, filled with health surveys, supply requests, or project status reports, were seamlessly linked to databases, programs, map software, websites and PDAs of others you want to share with, so that whenever you add or update data, the changes end up being reflected everyone else as well, and all of their changes would also show up in your spreadsheet automatically.
- Imagine being able to see all of this collective information on a map – a map that updates itself whenever anyone makes a change to shared data.
- Now imagine being able to exchange data with others even when no Internet access is available.
InSTEDD Mesh4X is a technology designed to create seamless cross-organizational information sharing between different databases, desktop applications, websites, and devices. It allows you to create or join a shared “data mesh” that links together disparate software and servers and synchronizes data between them automatically. You choose the data you wish to share, others do the same, and now everyone’s data ends up everywhere it needs to be.
- Using Mesh4X, changes to data in any one location in the mesh are automatically synchronized to every other location.
- If you’re offline at the time, all of your data will synchronize the next time you connect to the network.
- For cases where no Internet access is available at all, there is no longer any need for the slow transport of files physically between locations. Mesh4X gives you the option to synchronize all data via a series of SMS text messages – just plug a compatible phone into your laptop, and Mesh4X does the rest.